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Freight market volatility highlights importance of broker-carrier relationships

From Transport Topics.

The freight market volatility of the past few years has created an even greater need for carriers and brokers to strengthen their business relationships, especially as uncertainty and supply chain disruptions persist.

Trusted partnerships between carriers and brokers are particularly important when capacity is tight or shippers need flexibility due to planned or unplanned surges or disruptions.

“Every party is critical to the functioning of the ecosystem. These are very interdependent relationships,” said LeAnne Coulter, vice president of freight management at Penske Logistics.

Carriers and brokers alike stand to gain from improved collaboration in the freight market, said Keri Hodnett, PowerBroker product manager at McLeod Software.

“The need for better relationships is equally beneficial to the carrier and the broker regardless of pricing and predictability, but you really draw on those relationships when pricing is uncertain,” she said.

Surging freight demand during the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic put a strain on freight capacity, but the U.S. freight market has since loosened.

“For those thousands and thousands of smaller carriers working primarily in the spot market, that means they have less freight to choose from,” said Pat Nolan, vice president of North American surface transportation for C.H. Robinson Worldwide. For those carriers, relationships with brokers are vital when there is less spot freight available, he said.

C.H. Robinson, based in Eden Prairie, Minn., ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest logistics companies in North America.

See the complete article online at Transport Topics.